Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Announces Special Events To Introduce New York City Center Season

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Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Announces Special Events To Introduce New York City Center Season

The Ailey School, now celebrating its 50th anniversary, was selected to perform in the 2019 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Over 100 students from all programs of The Ailey School will answer the call of "Let's Have a Parade," the iconic phrase that has signaled the start of every Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade since 1924. Led by The Ailey School Co-Director Tracy Inman, the dancers from age seven to 25 will perform a dance inspired by the "Rocka My Soul" finale of Alvin Ailey's American masterpiece Revelations.

"The Ailey School is thrilled to share a celebratory performance spotlighting wonderful young talent during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, a holiday tradition we all cherish," said The Ailey School Co-Director Tracy Inman. "It continues Alvin Ailey's mission of bringing dance to the people and marks in a most special way the School's five decades of developing generations of performing artists that inspire us all."

"Each year, the Macy's Parade creative team looks for performance groups across the country with the talent to captivate more than 3.5 million live spectators and more than 50 million television viewers," said Sara Flores, Associate Producer of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. "The Ailey School is a premiere incubator of dance talent and we are thrilled to welcome them to the Parade line up this year as they celebrate 50 years of excellence."

For more than ninety years, Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade has given thanks to what Macy's values most - its loyal fans. More than 5,000 Macy's colleagues and dedicated volunteers work tirelessly to create a spectacular event that entertains the cheerful crowds and provides joy to millions at home watching on Thanksgiving Day. Stretching down a more than two-mile-long route in New York City, the spectacle is alive with gleaming color, music and smiles.

The Ailey School's 50th Anniversary will also be celebrated on December 10th at a special performance at New York City Center during Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's holiday season from December 4, 2019 - January 5, 2020. Founded in 1969, the School has helped serve as a springboard for many notable artists, including season choreographers as well as more than 70% of the Company members. In addition to the world premiere of Ode, the evening will also feature students from The Ailey School alongside the Ailey dancers in Alvin Ailey's Memoria and Revelations.

Another special event preceding the season is In Conversation with Chaya - Ailey's Keeper of the Flame on Thursday, October 24th at 7pm in the Ailey studios. Hosted by Renee Robinson, the conversation with Associate Artistic Director Masazumi Chaya, in advance of his final season with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, will look back at a history-making journey through the world of dance and the Ailey organization spanning five decades. Having joined the Company in 1972 as a dancer, Mr. Chaya performed under Alvin Ailey's direction for 15 years, subsequently assumed responsibility for rehearsing the Company-a role for which Mr. Ailey had cultivated him-and for more than 28 years has been a creative associate and friend to Artistic Director Emerita Judith Jamison and Artistic Director Robert Battle, maintaining the repertory and guiding generations of Ailey dancers. To join in the conversation, visit www.aileyextension.com.

A shining light at the Ailey organization, with a passion and commitment to sharing the vision of founder Alvin Ailey, Mr. Chaya will also be celebrated with a tribute performance at New York City Center on Sunday, December 22nd. The special program will feature over a dozen excerpts that highlight his extensive career of nearly five decades, a one-night-only piece d'occasion created by Matthew Rushing, and appearances and performances by former company members.

Throughout Ailey's annual five-week engagement, which has become a joyous holiday tradition, Artistic Director Robert Battle leads Ailey's 32 extraordinary dancers in presenting over two dozen diverse works by some of the world's preeminent choreographers, including world premieres that shine a spotlight on social issues by Donald Byrd and Ailey dancer and newly announced Resident Choreographer Jamar Roberts.

Celebrated choreographer Donald Byrd will use the 1921 Tulsa riots as a source of inspiration for Greenwood, an enlightening ensemble work with music by Israeli violist and composer Emmanuel Witzthum. A TONY nominee (The Color Purple), Bessie Award-winner (The Minstrel Show) and 2019 Doris Duke Artist Award recipient, Byrd's long association with the Company, his adeptness at creating compelling characters, and his reputation as "an unabashed eclectic" (The New York Times) promise an original and powerful work.

Ailey dancer Jamar Roberts' Ode offers a meditation on the beauty and fragility of life in a time of growing gun violence and will include Roberts' own costume designs for the six cast members. Like his critically-acclaimed Members Don't Get Weary (2017), this work is set to a jazz score - Don Pullen's "Suite (Sweet) Malcolm (Part 1 Memories and Gunshots)" and is the first in a series of three works as he steps into the new role of Resident Choreographer. A member of the Company since 2002, Roberts has become renowned for his powerful performances on world stages, including at The White House and as a guest star with London's Royal Ballet, receiving the prestigious New York Dance and Performance "Bessie" award for Outstanding Performer.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, recognized by U.S. Congress as "a vital American cultural ambassador to the world," is currently uplifting audiences in Europe on their 2019 International Tour from August 28 - September 22 visiting Copenhagen, Denmark (August 28 - September 1); London, England (September 4 - 14); and Rotterdam, Netherlands (September 19 - 22). Bank of America is the lead sponsor of the Company's 2019 International Tour. Following the New York City Center engagement, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will dance from coast-to-coast on a 21-city National Tour from February - May 2020.

In 1958, Alvin Ailey and a small group of dancers took the stage in New York and forever changed American dance and culture. One of the country's groundbreaking greats, his Company inspires all in a universal celebration of the human spirit using the African-American cultural experience and the modern dance tradition. More than 60 years after its founding, Ailey continues to move forward under the leadership of Robert Battle, revealing time and again why Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is one of the world's most beloved dance companies.

Tickets starting at $29 are on sale Monday, September 9 at the New York City Center Box Office, through CityTix at (212) 581-1212, or at www.alvinailey.org or www.nycitycenter.org. Discount tickets are available for Ailey Super Fans who purchase tickets for more than one performance, for students with an appropriate ID, and for groups of 10 or more (discounts do not apply to $29 tickets). For group sales, call 212-405-9082 or email groupsales@alvinailey.org. For further information about Ailey's New York City Center season please visit www.alvinailey.org.



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